Iran launched missile attacks on US-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. Tensions continue to escalate between the two nations and adding to it Iran President Hassan Rouhani in a warning to the US on Wednesday stated that America's "leg" in the region would be cut off.
According to Iran's Fars news agency, Iran's President told the United States that Washington might have "cut off the arm" of General Qassem Soleimani but America's "leg" in the region would be cut off in response. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said a "slap in the face" was delivered to the United States when the Islamic republic fired missiles at US troop bases in Iraq on Wednesday.
"Last night, a slap in the face was delivered," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live on state television. His remarks came after he had vowed "severe revenge" for a US drone strike that killed General Soleimani near Baghdad international airport last week. He also said, "US brought destruction to our region..they talk about negotiations but they only want to interfere..this needs to end. We have people to tackle them politically and militarily."
Iranian state television said at least 80 "American terrorists" were killed in attacks involving 15 missiles Tehran launched on US targets in Iraq, adding that none of the missiles were intercepted. State TV, citing a senior Revolutionary Guards source, also said Iran had 100 other targets in the region in its sights if Washington took any retaliatory measures. It also said US helicopters and military equipment were 'severely damaged'.
Iran will welcome any peace initiative by India for de-escalating its tensions with the US, Iranian Envoy to India, Ali Chegeni said. "India usually plays a very good role in (maintaining) peace in the world. At the same time, India belongs to this region. We welcome all initiatives from all countries, especially India as a good friend for us, to not allow escalation (of tensions)," Iranian Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni told reporters after a condolence meeting for Soleimani at the country's embassy in New Delhi.